Mode of Exploitation

The Mode of Exploitation is the manner in which the Ruling Class goes about creating the intellectual and spiritual conditions conducive to extraction and accumulation of labour value.[1]

Related Terms

Mode of Exploitation > Containment, Hidden Curriculum, Ideological Infrastructure, Ideological Institution, Mode of Compliance, Mode of Exploitation, Mode of Production, Regime of Accumulation, Symbol Factory


The Mode of Exploitation + Mode of Production = the Regime of Accumulation (a.k.a. The System).

According to Ruyle[2] any specific Mode of Exploitation consists of three interrelated factors; these factors include

  1. Exploitative Techniques (i.e. the mechanisms through which economic surplus is extracted,
  2. Mechanisms of Force (like the police and the army who are called in to ensure regimes of extraction continue by physically coercing the population if necessary), and
  3. Ideological Institutions (like the elementary education system, the Catholic Church, Hollywood, and the family, tasked with controlling the minds of the exploited populations.

Ideological Institutions provide the Ideological Infrastructure by which compliance is ensured.

According to Ruyle (1975: pp. 11-12) “These elements of the exploitative system may be institutionalized separately, as in industrial societies such as the United States and the Soviet Union, or they may be integrated into a single unitary institution, as in the early Bronze Age. The precise ensemble of exploitative techniques, together with the manner in which state-church elements are institutionalized, constitutes a historical mode of exploitation.”


  1. Sosteric. Rocket Scientists’ Guide to Money and the Economy: Accumulation and Debt. St Albert, Alberta: Lightning Path Press., 2016.
  2. Ruyle, Eugene E. “Mode of Production and Mode of Exploitation: The Mechanical and the Dialectical.” Dialectical Anthropology 1, no. 1 (1975): 7–23. p. 11